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How effective are 'cash for grass' drought relief programs

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Tom Underhill stands in his front yard filled with California native plants at his home in Long Beach. Six years ago he replaced the lawn and flowers with draught-tolerant native plants. Underhill and his wife inadvertently received a property tax break of $250 for not using their share of municipal water, he said. "I'm sure I have some neighbors that are like 'where is his green lawn,'" he said.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC
Tom Underhill stands in his front yard filled with California native plants at his home in Long Beach. Six years ago he replaced the lawn and flowers with draught-tolerant native plants. Underhill and his wife inadvertently received a property tax break of $250 for not using their share of municipal water, he said. "I'm sure I have some neighbors that are like 'where is his green lawn,'" he said.

California's top water officials meet tomorrow to consider mandatory limits on outdoor water use in cities.

California's top water officials meet tomorrow to consider mandatory limits on outdoor water use in cities.

Even before the drought began, local water agencies had been trying a kinder approach, offering the carrot of homeowners incentives to rip out their lawns. How effective have those efforts been?

KPCC's environment correspondent Molly Peterson tried to find out.

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